Barb Brown Dalton
21 Black Bear Drive
Veazie, ME 04401-6929
Facebook: University of Maine Class of 1981 and
Hope this finds you all well and vaccinated! We’ve certainly adjusted our lives in the past year and I’m hopeful that this summer will be a bit more normal than last. It was a long winter without UMaine sports, but I think we all became better cooks and got many projects done around home. We’ve lived through history but have missed so many things that we once took for granted. Let’s hope we emerge from this with a better appreciation for the little things.
I expected to be announcing plans for Homecoming 2021, our 40th Reunion, in this issue. As I write this, we’re unable to make plans so the best I can do is say, “stay tuned for updates!” Please join our Facebook page and follow along for announcements there. Share some of your own photos from your archives and let’s relive those special college days through pictures and stories. Check the Alumni Association’s website for updates. And let’s hope that we’ll be able to raise our steins together in the fall!
You’d think my inbox would have been full with everyone quarantining and online more than ever, but news has actually been scarce! One classmate did hit it out of the park, so to speak, as Jon Perry was chosen for the inaugural class of the Hampden Academy Athletic Hall of Fame. Along with his success as a Hampden Bronco, Jon played four years as a Black Bear and was named an All-Yankee Conference second team first baseman in 1980. He was a starter on the 1981 College World Series squad. During his career, he has served as an assistant coach at Connecticut and Husson University, and was head coach at Old Town and Hermon high schools. He has been active as a sports official, served as a high school athletic administrator for 11 years, and is currently Hampden Academy’s head baseball coach. Congrats, Jon!
In other baseball-related news, David Barrett wrote that his son, Joel ‘08, played for UMaine for four years and was team captain his junior and senior years. When he graduated, he was #2 in hits all time for Maine! David is enjoying retirement now with his wife, Nancy, in Central Florida and lives in Solivita, a 55+ resort community. Following graduation, he spent six years in town management in Brownville and Machias. After that, he worked for the Maine Department of Corrections for 31 years, primarily as an administrator in juvenile corrections. He has a son, daughter, and four grandchildren and says, “Life is good!”
George Fox is assistant vice president of supply chain at Good Shepherd Food Bank in Auburn and is responsible for helping the food bank grow its capacity to feed food-insecure Mainers. George previously held engineering and operational leadership roles at L.L. Bean for more than 20 years.
I connected with Bob Daugherty on LinkedIn recently. He retired as an Air Force colonel 15 years ago and said he picked up a master’s degree and Ph.D. along the way. He lives in Alexandria, VA, these days and is getting ready to retire from the civil service within the next year.
A shout out to Jim Mercer, captain of the Black Bear men’s basketball team back in our day. He’s been in the suntan lotion business for years and serves as chief operations officer for Cross-Brands Contract Filling, located in West Melbourne, FL. The company acquired the iconic Sea & Ski sun care brand in 2016. In 2020, with the onset of the pandemic, the FDA-regulated facility shifted their focus to producing sanitizers to supply local first responders and even Disney. A connection with Jim’s former coach at UMaine, Skip Chappelle ‘62, resulted in a supply of sanitizers being donated to the Department of Athletics for use by the Black Bear student-athletes. It has been a challenging year and a half for all sports teams and the continued alumni support has been greatly appreciated. Let’s hope we return to a more normal schedule for the 2021-2022 seasons — with spectators allowed!
As we have now crossed another milestone as alumni — 40 years since graduating — please remember your days on campus and help to ensure a strong future for UMaine with a gift to our class scholarship fund or another worthy fund on campus. Our scholarship award this past year was under $400 — that doesn’t go far these days. At last check, the principal was around $12,000. If 40 percent of our class gave 40 dollars each, we could raise more than $25,000 for the fund — how ‘bout it?
Be well, respect the health of others, and let’s kick this virus so we can spend some time celebrating this fall!